Every industry has its experts. The people who know their chosen field from top to bottom and to whom others constantly look for advice and inspiration.
The tech world has people like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, while the marketing industry is ruled over by titans such as Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk. These people have written countless books on their areas of expertise, delivered lectures, and received millions of impressions and shares on social media
So how do you become an industry thought leader? There are numerous reasons to want to do so, as it can bring huge levels of brand awareness to your business and raise your credibility and reputation. But becoming a thought leader is not easy. It’s about more than just knowing your stuff.
If you want to become a guru of the heating and air conditioning industry, it’s not enough to just have your HVAC license and a positive attitude. You have to know how to promote yourself, expand your network, and create great content that gets seen and shared by the right people. You will have to work hard at it, but if you want to get ahead in business the results will be more than worth the effort.
To get you started on your journey to success, here are six tips to help you become an industry thought leader.
Identify your niche
It might sound incredibly obvious. In order to become an industry expert, you need to figure out what you will be an expert in. The business landscape is so oversaturated and competitive. Therefore, you need a specific niche in order to be noticed above your rivals.
You don’t have to know everything. However, you do need to be the absolute master of your chosen area. This way, people will see you as the font of all knowledge. In other words, they will look to you for advice and guidance. Identify the area in which you can offer the most expertise and are most passionate about.
Create world-class content
In the modern world, the best way to reach people is through great content. You need to know how to convey information to your target audience in a way that is easily digestible, educational, and entertaining. Blogs, videos, social media are a great way to do this but you may also want to become proficient in delivering talks and presentations as well as writing long-form content such as essays and books.
Your content needs to solve a problem and give your audience a reason to keep coming back. It should draw them in with humor and brevity, while also containing enough substance to provide value to their lives. It should be so good that each reader, viewer, and follower shares your content with their audience and raises your own brand awareness.
Amplify your voice
In order to take the step from being an expert to an industry thought leader, you need to be able to reach more people. And the way to do this is by choosing the right platforms to amplify your voice, and becoming as proficient as possible in those mediums.
The specific platforms you choose will depend entirely on where your target audience can be found. If you are reaching a younger population, you may want to focus on apps such as Instagram and Tiktok. However, if you are targeting an older, more professionally minded group, then your best bet may be LinkedIn.
Don’t be a self-promotional thought leader
So many self-professed thought leaders love the sound of their own voice. However, if all you ever talk about is yourself, then no one will want to listen.
Make sure your content and expertise are focused on your audience rather than going on about your own business. Help them solve problems and provide lasting value to their lives and you will retain a loyal fanbase
Grow your network
Getting ahead in the business world is all about how you know. In other words, you need to make an effort to expand your professional network. Attend industry events and networking brunches.
Connect with people on social media and send emails to follow up after you meet a new person. Shake hands and exchange business cards and before long you will see more and more business opportunities coming your way.
Be adaptable as a thought leader
The world is changing faster than ever. New trends, technologies, and behaviors are always turning the way we work on its head. After all, no one could have foreseen the impact the global pandemic had on companies across the globe.
The worst character trait you can have is to be set in your ways. Always be adaptable to change and you can handle anything the future throws at you. In doing so, you will lead the way and become a force for change in your industry.
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